To create a viable business plan, know how to distinguish the business from the competition, estimate startup costs, know who the customers and competition are and have a sound marketing plan. Use a variety of available resources, such as local banks and the Small Business Administration, to create a plan and be successful, states Investopedia.
The first step in a solid business plan is starting with the business idea, even before worrying about upstart financing or marketing, advises Investopedia. Although a product or service does not have to be unique for a business to be successful, it must stand out from the competition. Successful businesses have clear identities and concepts that set them apart, and these should be the first things a potential entrepreneur defines.
Knowing startup costs is the next step in a viable plan. Even small home-based businesses have startup costs. Estimate equipment, staff, rent and marketing materials as closely as possible. These costs are essential when budgeting out-of-pocket expenses or applying for a business loan.
A business owner must know who his customers are in order to target them. If a business will cater to medical professionals, for example, rent a space near a large hospital. The profile and demographic need to match to draw in enough customers for the business to thrive. Knowing how to beat the competition is also vital. Scope out similar businesses and come up with ways to improve on their methods, and add that to the plan.
A marketing plan details how a business will connect with customers. Checking out the competition is one of the best ways to know how to form these connections. Other ways include taking classes, talking with business counselors and performing extensive research to develop a solid marketing strategy for the business plan.